Actions Speak Louder – 3 CDs
Act 1: SOLOS and a QUARTET
Act 2: v-ORCHESTRA
Act 3: VOICES
Composer: Tim Brady www.timbrady.ca
Mixing, editing, and production: Tim Brady
Mastered by: Tim Brady and Morris Apelbaum
Cover photos by: Catherine Marcogliese
Liner notes by: Brian Morton
ACT 1: SOLOS and a QUARTET: Simple loops in complex times (TK486)
1-3. Simple Loops in Complex Times
4. At Sergio’s Request
5. 60% (just water)
6-9. The Virtuosity of Time 10 Uncertain Impact (Quartet)
Performers: Tim Brady – solo electric guitar, electronics. Track 10 performed by Instruments of Happiness: Tim Brady, Jonathan Barriault, Simon Duchesne, Françis Brunet-Turcotte – guitars
ACT 2: v-ORCHESTRA: Triple Concerto: Because Everything Has Changed (TK487)
1. Triple Concerto: Because Everything Has Changed
Performers: Tim Brady – electric guitar, NotePerformer 3 programming;
Helmut Lipsky– violin; Shawn Mativetsky – tabla, percussion
ACT 3: VOICES: Revolutionary Songs / As It Happened (TK488)
1-6. Revolutionary Songs
7-9. As It Happened
Performers: Bradyworks (1-6) : Tim Brady – electric guitar/ conductor, Nathalie Poulin – soprano, André Leroux – saxophones, Gordon Cleland – cello, Louise-Andrée Baril – piano, Marie-José Simard – percussion. Mirror Image (7-9): Tim Brady – conductor, studio guitars, production, Carol Bauman & Richard Moore – percussion, Kim Enns-Hildebrand & Daria Salemka – sopranos, Anne-Marie Donovan – mezzo soprano, spoken voice, John Tute – tenor, Michael Donovan – baritone.
TK486-TK488 © April 23, 2020 Redshift Music
Award-winning Montréal composer and guitarist Tim Brady has spent the good part of four decades unfolding a vivid and polymorphous body of work. His catalogue bounds effortlessly from symphonic heft to moody electroacoustics, from sinewy chamber works to art-song mutations, all which can be heard over the course of the Actions Speak Louder triptych.
Once hailed by Guitar Player as one of the 30 most important guitarists for the future of the instrument, Brady’s virtuosity palpably drives his music, generating a surging energy that even illuminates moments of repose. Yet this same energy also propels his imagination well beyond the confnes of the guitar. The act of making music, the pleasure of sound, the intensity of listening and the emotional impact of structured time are Brady’s central compositional materials. DownBeat Magazine aptly described his vision as “a strong bridge between the freedom of jazz and the structure of formal composition.” Indeed his outlook is staunchly open-ended and pluralistic, embracing allusions to rapid-fre post-minimalism, cubist ambient music, Gordian prog-rock knots, futuristic jazz, and even late-Romantic yearning, yet all the while remaining outside of their attendant ideologies.
The present three-disc set (sold together and separately) opens with a varied series of solo guitar pieces. Brady deploys the instrument in a painterly fashion, more concerned with producing colours than shredding. The instrument undergoes dramatic changes of state: interlocking rhythmic twitches sublimate into haunted clouds of vapour; molten pools vitrify into transparent chordal panes. The disc ends with a rousing contrapuntal piece for guitar quartet featuring one of Brady’s primary ensembles, Instruments of Happiness.
The entire middle disc is occupied by Triple Concerto: Because Everything Has Changed. which takes the scope, scale, soloists of the titular form in surprising new directions. According to Brady, the work’s timely name refers both to the current sociopolitical milieu, and the ever-shifting relationship between music and technology—a theme that is central to the piece. Soloists Brady, violinist Helmut Lipsky and Shawn Mativetsky (on tabla and percussion), collectively known as Of Sound, Mind and Body sit in the foreground, while an expansive, deliberately virtual orchestral soundworld churns around them. Though the trio’s contributions augment the vastness of the electronics, the fact they’re both improvised and recorded in their respective home studios, also brings a contrasting intimate quality into the piece.
Where both prior discs were conceived and recorded during 2020, their counterpart casts the spotlight on Brady’s vocal music, collecting newly remastered archival recordings of two song cycles. Revolutionary Songs (1993) and As It Happened (1999) are performed by chamber ensembles Bradyworks and Mirror Image respectively and dart from angular to lyrical, and from the manic, to the ethereal. Exhilarating and information-dense, these works evoke everything from Louis Andriessen to Henry Cow. The 3-CD set is accompanied by an essay from revered Scottish critic Brian Morton.
Since 1988 Tim Brady has released 24 CDs as both a composer and a performer on Justin Time Records, Ambiances magnétiques, Atma Classique, Starkland and Centrediscs labels. He has been commissioned and performed by numerous ensembles and orchestras in North America and Europe including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, The Vancouver Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, New Music Concerts (Toronto), INA-GRM (Radio-France), the English Guitar Quartet, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Esprit Orchestra. Brady has also appeared a number of major festivals and venues, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Festival Présence in Paris, The South Bank Centre in London, and the Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville. In 2010 he was the featured composer at the Winnipeg Symphony’s international New Music Festival and from 2008 to 2013 he was composer-in-residence with the Orchestre symphonique de Laval. His album Atacama: Symphony #3, was named “Création de l’année” for 2012 at the Prix Opus and was also nominated for a JUNO in 2014.
“Flamboyantly eclectic, Brady’s ambitious composition works very well, in part because his arrangements are anchored in his own playing, translating the agile volubility of the solo instrument into viable orchestral voicings and fexible forms.”
— Julian Cowley, The Wire
“Brady’s work is deeply emotive, grounded and elegant.” — Lana Norris, I Care If You Listen
“Brady’s Third Symphony, Atacama, (is) a work of haunting and explosive power… relentless and affecting, especially shaped with urgent commitment by the combined forces of VivaVoce and Bradyworks.”
— Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine